Chalcid wasp, photo by Martin Cooper licensed under CC 2.0

There was recently an interesting bunfight on Twitter between Paul Sztorc, author of the Truthcoin paper that laid the ground for Augur and other decentralized oracle designs, and veteran block size hawk Peter Todd.

Paul wants Bitcoin to support drivechains, a kind of second-layer system that pays miners to validate not only the main blockchain, but also a separate blockchain. …


Last year we announced our smart contract oracle that we dubbed “Snopes Meets Mechanical Turk on a Blockchain”. Today we’re excited to tell you about the mainnet release of this project, now called Realitio.

Realitio is a crowd-based oracle which relies on a system of escalating bonds to generate correct answers for both humans and contracts alike. The goal is cheap and fast verification for any natural-language question that has a publicly knowable answer.

In March of this year, we received a generous grant from the Ethereum Community Fund. With this support, Realitio has undergone a full smart contract security…


Last year we announced our on-chain smart contract oracle system, Reality Check, which we described as Snopes meets mechanical Turk on a blockchain.

We’ve completed our audit and we’re announcing a bug bounty for the smart contracts and documentation, as of commit 19d72f85f821c3e27400fc0f3514b9bddb64ae59.

It covers the following contracts:

It also covers the documentation under docs/, the compiled version of which you can find here.

This bounty will be open until May 29th, 2018.

All bounties will be paid in ETH. We will pay, depending on severity:

  • Up to 20 ETH for bugs that allow stealing user funds
  • Up…

We are now live on mainnet at reality.eth.

When we started building the Reality Keys smart contract oracle in 2013, we assumed that most of the data people would want would be able to be pulled from existing data feed APIs.

But in practice we found that a lot of the most interesting things people wanted data for didn’t have reliable, trustworthy existing feeds that gave them exactly what they wanted. And where people have tried to use data feeds directly from the web, it has often worked out badly for them.

What we really wanted was the ability to…


Photo by Babak Fakhamzadeh (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Tech people love cool new things, and when we talk about Ethereum we hardly ever talk about it as a way of doing things Bitcoin could already do. But the experience of using Bitcoin to pay for things is getting increasingly painful, and it’s time has come to look at how Ethereum could help.

Ethereum people have often tended to tip-toe around its usefulness for payments; many cut their crypto teeth on Bitcoin, and they are generally uninterested in picking a fight.

But I’m going to argue that Ethereum is not just capable of doing online payments, but actually seriously…


It’s easy to create a token on the Ethereum network. Forking one is also, in theory, a simple business. A token typically consists of a database of balances, some code showing how to access it and, potentially, some other code that does other stuff. You simply make your new contract, publish it to the blockchain, copy the data from the old contract over to it, publish its address and ask people to use it.

Whether you have copied the balances correctly is something that is verified in the social space, not the code space; If somebody notices a mismatch, they’ll…


Dumb smart contracts

There has long been a school of thought that says that smart contracts are mostly pointless. Most interesting contracts depend on some outside event happening in the real world: A stock price going up or down, an election being won or lost, an earthquake in Tokyo happening or not happening,

Blockchains have no knowledge of reality. They do not know what happened to Apple stock, unless that stock is actually being traded on the blockchain. They do not know who won an election, or even what an election is. They have no idea whether Tokyo is still standing.

In practice…

Edmund Edgar

Founder, Social Minds Inc. Work on Realitio

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store